San Diego Earth Day Fair – April 20th – World’s Largest?


EarthFair 2008 will be held on Sunday, April 20th from 10AM – 5PM at Balboa Park. The organizers note it “is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world”. Considering this is taking place to celebrate Earth Day, which is the day of the Spring Equinox (Tuesday, April 22nd for this year), I began to wonder about the Earth Day Celebration Fairs in other big cities. Does the San Diego turnout actually outnumber the potential participants that cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco could produce for their Earth Days?

Surprisingly, the answer is Yes We Do! Give yourselves a pat on the back people of San Diego. San Diego’s EarthFair draws about 60,000 participants each year. Some years have seen as many as 70,000.

The cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Miami, Denver, and Dallas each hold major Earth Day celebrations as part of the Green Apple Festival, which is produced in conjunction with the Earth Day Network. The Green Apple Festival bills itself as the “America’s Largest Earth Day Celebration”. They expect 500,000 participants in the seven aforementioned cities for their third annual festival this weekend. That means on average, each city would have 62,500 participants.

At first glance, you may think, “Some cities will have more than the average, which is similar to the number expected in San Diego, so how could San Diego’s be the largest?” Well, the other festivals take place over three days! The venues include free music events at local bars and clubs on Friday and Saturday. By that measure, San Diego’s EarthFair is by far the largest event of its kind that takes place on one day, at one venue.

San Diego certainly appears to have the largest Earth Day Fair in the U.S. How about on a world wide basis? Well, I ran Google searches for major city Earth Day fairs and could only find one that produces a turnout similar to San Diego’s. Earth Day Tokyo is expected to draw 120,000 visitors over two days this weekend. That puts it on par with San Diego’s one day turnout. If I’ve missed a city that truly has a larger turnout, note it in the comments below.

So, go out and celebrate the Earth Day Fair in San Diego’s Balboa Park. The Earth Day activities include a children’s activity area, five stages of entertainment, a parade, art, food, and over 200 exhibitors who will share ideas on how you can minimize your impact on the environment.

For starters, consider making your way over to Balboa Park this Sunday in an Earth friendly manner using the recommendations of the Earth Fair organizers. I highly recommend you consider these earth friendly transportation options since traffic will be heavy heading towards the World’s Largest Earth Day Fair.

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